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  • Subject: [cg] Re:salsa
  • From: Deanna L Ramage dramage@juno.com
  • Date: Sun, 8 Sep 2002 10:13:54 -0700

Here is a recipe I've used and some good basic info.
Recipe By : Katie 
Serving Size : 1 Preparation Time :0:00 
Categories : Preserving 
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method 
-------- ------------ -------------------------------- 
5 pounds tomatoes -- peeled and chopped (We like Romas) 
2 large onions -- chopped 
2 pounds chili peppers -- * see note 
1 head garlic -- chopped 
1 tablespoon salt 
1 tablespoon cumin 
1 teaspoon black pepper 
1 cup vinegar 
Drain tomatoes in colander. Combine ingredients and cook down to desired
thickness. Process in a hot water bath 15 minutes at 0-1000 ft., 20 min.
at 1001-6000 ft., and 25 min. at altitudes over 6000 ft. 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
NOTES : Use up to this amount of peppers, mild or hot peppers to taste.
We like a mixture of jalapenos and wax 

I processed this for 30 minutes just to be safe. I also added about 3
cups of fresh corn for a nice added crunch. It made 7 pints. Do not
decrease the amount of vinegar.


Salsa is made up of the slightly acidic tomato plus the non-acid peppers,
garlic, cilantro, and onions. Tomatoes can be canned in a boiling water
canner if they are acidified by adding lemon juice, but the vegetables
must be canned in a pressure canner for safety. This combination of
acidic and non-acidic ingredients in salsa presents problems with safe
processing times in a boiling water canner. 
Processing times for canned food must be calculated in a food
microbiology laboratory for each recipe formula. It is important that
household canners seek reliable, tested recipes and then follow them
Unfortunately, the USDA and Ball Corporation laboratories have not
calculated then published safe salsa recipes that taste similar to the
fresh salsas we are accustomed to. They have published safe home canned
salsa recipes for people to preserve, but the flavor is distinctly
different from salsas most people desire. The flavor of these safe
recipes is very acidic because the salsa is made acid with the addition
of large amounts of vinegar or commercially bottled lemon juice. Do not
try to decrease the acidity to improve the flavor of these tested
recipes; the acidity is needed for safety. 

The only safe recipes for canned salsa are these tested ones; recipes
that have not been through this testing procedure should be considered
UNSAFE to seal in a jar. (You can safely freeze untested salsa recipes
for long term storage, but the texture may be poor quality.) It is
possible to put untested salsa in a jar and get a good seal, but the heat
treatment needed to maintain a product that can be stored at room
temperature and remain safe to eat would be lacking. DO NOT CAN UNTESTED
RECIPES FOR SALSA; IT IS A SAFETY HAZARD. Some of the microorganisms that
can grow in these sealed jars of untested salsa recipes cause paralysis
or death. 

If you do not like the flavor of these acidic salsa recipes designed for
safe home canning; freeze your favorite salsa recipes or make only enough
salsa for fresh eating. 

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